The New Year

Okay. Another new year. Notice I’ve put that in lower case letters. New Year’s meant nothing to me. I’m talking about the new year. I’ll be heading out in a bit. I’m picking up a load this afternoon and taking it somewhere in Tennessee. On the far side, I imagine, since it’s 555 routed miles. I’m always a little down when I leave. Even knowing that I’ll be back this weekend. But it’s much better than it was with U.S. Xpress. This doesn’t feel like I’m marching off to some Siberian prison. It’s just that I’d rather stay home. Who wouldn’t? It’s the same old pang anyone feels heading off to work in the morning when they’d rather sleep in. Only slightly magnified because I know that my rest will come a week later.
We managed to dodge Christmas and New Year’s with no real harm done. I thought that Mara and I were going to go out for New Year’s Eve, but she decided not to. I only got slightly annoyed when she said that she chose not to because she didn’t want me to feel displaced by dragging me off to hang out with her friends. Mostly I was disappointed. I’d like to meet her friends. I’d like to get away from this house. I was genuinely looking forward to it. So I was a little put out when I discovered that the reason we didn’t go out was because Mara thought she knew my mind better than I. I’ll have to see if I can do something to displace the negativity that she seems to associate with me. I think I’ll have to admit to myself that a lot of it is well earned.
Anyway, it’s 2006. Insert various celebratory emotives here. I wish I could say that I’m excited about the new year, but mostly I’m just relieved. I want to put 2005 far behind me. I’m facing 2006 with a lot of good intentions, full of hope and determination. Only time will tell if I’m as full as shit as I’ve ever been. I hope this time I’ll follow through. Sooner or later I’m going to have to.
Here’s the things that need to be attended to in 2006:
1) My marriage needs to be strengthened. I haven’t been fair to Mara. I’ve expected certain things, but offered little in return. I’ve been an ogre, sitting on my discontent and moaning about how other people haven’t been measuring up. That has to change. Mara deserves better. She deserves to be happy. I’m going to see what I can do about that.
2) The house needs to be worked on. This is no longer theoretical. We’ve reached a point at which the disrepair is entering an unsettling level of decay. It’s time to step up. That means much less Everquest and a whole lot more physical labor. The list is endless, but the many problems around the house aren’t going to solve themselves. This is up to me.
3) Weight loss. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been. I have to reverse this process or I’m going to find myself unable to move, riddled with diseases and failing organs, all brought on by my obesity. Yes, I carry my weight well. That doesn’t change the fact that I weigh 350 pounds. I don’t have the depressing weight of U.S. Xpress’ indifference to use as an excuse anymore. It has to end.
4) My outlook has to change. My perception of everything is negative. I’m going to have to change that. Yes, I believe that part of that will be cleaning up the house and fashioning some sense of order here. But that’s only a start. Grounding and clearing. It’s not a final solution. Just a step in the right direction. Mara and Mama deserve better than they’ve been getting of me. I am absolutely convinced that if I don’t start pushing back against the darkness soon, I’m going to wither away into some broken thing that sits by the lake and stares at the water. I don’t like what I am. I’m going to change it.
I can’t think of anything else to mention, although I’m sure there are many that I could. My job, for instance. I like it at Epes, but I’ve been dragging my ass a bit. There are times when I could’ve pushed and gotten ahead of the curve, but took a nap instead. I’ll have to stop doing that. I think I can make good money at Epes if I just find my rhythm. I could sit here and nit-pick and find a lot of other things to mention, but I won’t.
All in all, we’re heading into 2006 with a reasonable expectation that things will be better. Our checking account is in the black. We have a little money in our savings account (it was in the red for months). The bankruptcy monster still faces us in the guise of Mara’s court hearing, but I’m not worried about that. Things will work out like they’re supposed to.
I feel like moving over to Epes constitutes a fresh start for us. I know Mara isn’t happy with her job, but at least Epes gives us a little flexibility. Getting home every weekend is bound to do wonders for my outlook on the world, and I hope that this will make it easier on Mara and Mama. It’ll take time to shake off the effects of U.S. Xpress, but I believe this is going to be good. Or at least better. And if I’m getting home every weekend, I no longer have an excuse for things being in a mess around the house. Now I have a weekly opportunity to start making a difference.
As ever, here’s to hope.

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